The Sugar Quill
Author: Avalon Scott  Story: Trick or Treat?  Chapter: Default
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"Ron, I really don't think we should be doing this."

"Oh come on, Hermione. It's our only chance to escape the Halloween torture in the Great Hall."

Hermione looked at Ron for a moment, then at the ground. "But Hogwarts' Halloween feasts are great fun...or so I'm told."

"Snape is going to make us read out Halloween poems in front of everyone. The Deathday party is a welcome alternative...this year. Back me up please," said Ron, looking over at Harry.

"Well, our last Deathday party wasn't that great, but Ron does have a point about the poems," agreed Harry.

"Exactly, Harry," Ron said cheerfully. "We would die of embarrassment and have to join the Deathday party anyway. You see, it all makes sense."

Hermione reluctantly followed Ron and Harry down to the dungeons where the Deathday party was taking place. Snape had threatened to make them recite poetry about the joys of pumpkins after a rather disastrous Potions class, and Ron's enthusiasm for the Halloween party had mellowed slightly.

"Ow," said Hermione suddenly. Ron caught her as she stumbled over something.

"What is it?" asked Harry.

"I don't want to know," replied Hermione.

The three of them looked at the object on the floor.

"It looks like a body," Ron helpfully pointed out.

Hermione shot him a warning look. "Don't be stupid Ron. It's probably just a Halloween decoration. Now are we going to the Deathday party or what?"

"It looks like Snape," said Ron, giggling, to Harry as they followed Hermione.

Assorted spectres drifted past them on the way, and Ron tried his best to cheer Hermione up. "It seems really quiet, maybe Peeves isn't here?"

"I hope not," replied Hermione, managing a small smile.

They pushed open a heavy wooden door, which didn't need to be kept open for the majority of the guests.

"Professor Snape?" gasped Ron in amazement.

"What are you staring at, boy?"

"Sir, I, um..."

"Oh," said Snape, cutting him off, "I see you have brought celebrity friends with you. Roll out the red carpet, Minerva."

Ron, Harry and Hermione turned in horror to see their Transfiguration teacher float over to them.

"What are you three doing here? Should you not be at your own party?"

Ron reached out his hand to steady Hermione, who was on the verge of fainting.

"Um, take a look around the room," whispered Harry quietly.

Ron and Hermione followed his gaze to the hovering ghosts who were all staring at them. Madam Hooch, Madam Pince and Professor Flitwick among them.

"I think you should leave now, before you are missed in the Great Hall," said Professor McGonagall, who was floating a bit too close to Ron for his liking.

They needed no more persuasion and ran towards the Great Hall as quickly as they could. They didn't even stop to catch their breath.

"Where have you three been?" demanded an annoyed voice.

"Nearly Headless Nick?" asked a confused Harry.

"That is Professor Nearly Headless Nick to you,boy," he replied haughtily,"Now sit down."

Glancing around the head table, the trio was greeted with the sight of a very solid Peeves, Bloody Baron and The Grey Lady. They sat down at the Gryffindor table to amused looks from the rest of the students.

"Dumbledore, he's normal," whispered Hermione.

"I wouldn't go that far," replied Ron.

"No, I mean he's not a ghost."

Ron got up from the table, pulling Hermione and Harry with him.

"Headmaster Dumbledore, there's something strange going on. Professor Snape, McGonagall, all of them, they are ghosts. And the ghosts are here!" Ron pointed frantically at the table.

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "Ah, a Halloween joke, Mr. Weasley. Very good. But kindly take your seat as the Halloween feast is about to begin."

"What? Are you mad?"

Nearly Headless Nick glared at Ron. "I am so sorry about the manners of this Gryffindor student."

"I can appreciate a joke, Nick," Dumbledore smiled kindly, "Now please sit down," he said, turning his attention to Ron.

Ron turned and headed for his seat. Harry and Hermione followed.

"Oh, Headmaster Dumbledore, I almost forgot. Mr. Weasley has a special Halloween poem that he would like to read out."

//
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